QNB ALAHLI Chairman’s Statement
Last year was an exceptional year on different levels, as we witnessed one of the greatest challenges to face humankind for decades, namely the global outbreak of COVID-19. However, with every new challenge, QNB ALAHLI proves its ability, to not only withstand and cope with the harshest changes, but to also reaffirm its ingenuity in transforming challenges into opportunities, and crises into rewarding gifts to foster growth, progress, and undeniable achievements.
We have reaffirmed these values since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Our tangible achievements were the outcome of the tireless efforts of the Board of Directors and all employees of QNB ALAHLI. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the valuable contributions of our board and every team member this particular year, the year of the toughest challenges, brilliant opportunities and important milestones.
The financial results, achievements, key figures and relevant indicators that are included in this report underscore, once again, our ability to work and make a difference under any circumstances, relying on the bank’s strong financial position, our employees’ dedication in delivering our strategy, and the business continuity plan we put into action throughout the year.
Despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on all economic activities in Egypt and the entire world: the lockdown measures, the slowdown of global trade and the setback of various activities, QNB ALAHLI’s financial indicators were positive even under the exceptional operations necessary to weather the adverse events related to the global crisis.
Dealing with COVID-19 crisis professionally
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Egypt in March 2020, QNB ALAHLI has applied strict precautionary measures obligated by the Central Bank of Egypt to combat the virus spread. Our crisis management committee was in permanent session to assess and monitor the situation on a daily basis, while taking necessary measures to ensure safety and health of the bank’s teams and customers alike. The committee aimed to achieve two key goals: to support the safety and health of employees and customers, and to help ensure hassle-free business continuity in all branches and business units.
To achieve these goals, we allowed employees at greater risk to work from home, while encouraging employees who were travelling abroad to self-isolate. At the same time, we restricted in-office visitors, suspended in-person training courses, and provided plastic shields for windows to prevent direct contact between employees and customers. To ensure adequate distance between employees, we divided staff presence as much as possible in accordance with the CBE directives and Ministry of Health and in line with international guidelines. In addition, we applied disinfection protocols throughout the day.
For customer safety, we reduced the number of customers inside branches by 50%, provided disinfectant to customers, and asked customers to wear masks inside branches. The bank also launched a “Your place…. Your safety” initiative, encouraging customers to use electronic payment options as a safe alternative to cash payment.
Outstanding financial results
QNB ALAHLI was able to maintain positive financial indicators in 2020 despite the challenging economic environment domestically and globally due to COVID-19. The positive results demonstrate the resilience and flexibility of our policies and procedures to upgrade operations and mitigate the negative repercussions of COVID-19. In addition, we withstood fierce competition, took advantage of emerging opportunities through our 231 branches across Egypt, catered to the needs of different market segments, and provided unique electronic and digital services.
As for the financial results, our standalone net profit amounted to EGP 7,399 million, while consolidated net profit reached EGP 7,492 million. The total balance of loan portfolio reached EGP 174 billion, with an annual growth rate of 7%, while the bank’s market share of total loans reached 7.47%. Credit facilities granted to SMEs reached 22.5% of the total credit facilities and exceeded the targeted percentage set by the CBE in 2019. Customers’ deposits reached EGP 234 billion with an annual growth rate of 12%.
In addition, we have the highest deposit utilization rate, with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 74%, compared to prevailing rate of the sector of just 46%. We focus on the growth of key banking operations and maintain high liquidity for all currencies, and our total assets reached EGP 290 billion with a growth rate of 6% year-on-year.
The bank aligns with the government’s efforts to transform to cashless society and introduce innovative banking services
The Egyptian government, through CBE and other entities, aims to shift to a cashless society and support electronic payments all over Egypt. These efforts were received positively by the banking sector, which aims to align with the governmental initiatives in this regard. QNB ALAHLI was one of the leading banks to launch state-of-the-art digital products and services to cater to the needs of our customer base, while coping with the directives of the government to achieve digital transformation.
The strategic project for digital transformation in electronic payments is one of the most important guarantees of strengthening governance and best utilization of resources, as it effectively contributes to automating public services provided to citizens, facilitating access to them with their actual value without any additional burdens, and consolidating the foundations of transparency and equal opportunities among citizens. The Government has already allocated 12.7 billion in the current fiscal year for the gradual transformation into digital Egypt and the promotion of electronic collection of governmental services as an alternative to the typical ways of payment.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has doubled the importance of electronic payment and collection in light of the precautionary measures, and the Ministry of Finance is cooperating with the banking sector to allow the payment of governmental dues in administrative offices through QR Code, electronic wallets in mobile phones, in addition to ATM cards, Automated payroll cards, prepaid cards and credit cards linked to bank accounts.
Aligning with the above initiatives and governmental directives, QNB ALAHLI is a leading bank in introducing the latest products and solutions that cater to different requirements and needs for individual and corporate customers, including but not limited to internet banking, digital wallets and POS.
The fin-tech industry is experiencing unprecedented development as electronic payments are recognized as perfect alternative to conventional cash payments. In collaboration with Visa, QNB ALAHLI launched two new services in 2020, the wearable payment wristband and Scan to Pay, which enables merchant’s payment acceptance through mobiles and via QR Code.
The wearable payment wristband is one of the most advanced, fast and safe means of payment in the world, which is widely accepted, especially among young people, as technology represents a major part of their lifestyle and daily activities. We are proud to be the first bank to launch this product in the Egyptian market. The wearable payment wristband depends on the technology of contactless payments to enable the wristband wearer to pay for his/ her purchases in any store or service outlet using electronic points of sale that read the wristband data remotely.
As for the PAYnGO service, it is part of the integrated solutions package provided by the bank to companies of all sizes under the umbrella of supply chain finance programs with easy terms and competitive prices. PAYnGO requires the merchant’s QR Code to be scanned by the customer, then they enter the required amount and pay instantly through an e-wallet or via the VISA SCAN TO PAY app without cards or POS machines. Electronic payment products and solutions come as a part of the initiatives of the Central Bank of Egypt to transform Egypt into a cashless society, which is a strategic goal that QNB ALAHLI seeks to achieve through its innovative services and products.
Supporting SMEs ... engines of development in Egypt
In order to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are considered engines of development in Egypt, QNB ALAHLI launched an integrated program that not only provides banking services to this sector, but also provides it with advisory services. We inaugurated two business development service centers to support emerging, small and medium enterprises and provide business advice. We also sponsored the innovation incubator as a part of the Nilepreuneur’s initiative under the auspices of the Central Bank of Egypt, and in partnership with Nile University, to raise awareness of creative design in various projects.
Supporting real estate financing initiatives
During the year, we renewed our cooperation protocol with the Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund by EGP 3 billion. The renewal of this protocol is based on the success of the two previous phases, which were limited to low-income segments and provided financing loans to more than 5,000 Social Housing Fund clients, through which the bank contributed EGP 538 million to the support of real estate financing sector.
Key social initiatives for the development of Egyptian society
Our Corporate Social Responsibility report for 2020 includes many social and humanitarian achievements that accompanied the business achievements of the bank. QNB ALAHLI participated in many projects that aim to support the most underprivileged sectors of society to fulfil our community obligations in various fields throughout Egypt.
During 2020, QNB ALAHLI continued to affirm its position as one of the largest entities in the banking sector in terms of supporting Egyptian society in facing the impact of the pandemic. The bank participated in The Egyptian Banks Initiative launched by the Federation of Egyptian Banks in coordination with the Central Bank of Egypt to support the economy and those affected due to the crisis. In the field of medical care, the bank donated many medical devices to hospitals, prepared and equipped rooms that provide free services to patients with the aim of eliminating waiting lists and providing the best medical services.
We also participated in the Decent Life Initiative under the patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to support groups and families in need, aiming to improve the housing environment for the most deserving families in the villages targeted by the initiative.
Prestigious international and regional awards
Confirming our leading position in providing the best service to customers in the banking sector, QNB ALAHLI won a total of 15 prestigious awards this year from leading international banking institutions and magazine. The bank was recognized for its products and services provided to its customers, including Best SME Bank - Egypt, Best Retail Bank in Egypt, and Best Digital Banking Products and Services - Egypt
For the second year in a row, we earned two awards from EMEA Finance magazine for the Best Green Finance Bank-Pan Africa and the Best Foreign Bank in Egypt. QNB ALAHLI is the first bank in Egypt to participate in facilitating green economy financing, a financing program launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In addition, QNB ALAHLI Life Insurance Company was awarded the most innovative insurance product for the year 2020 for its product (Breast Cancer Insurance) by International Finance magazine.
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to QNB ALAHLI’s customers for their valuable trust. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all of QNB ALAHLI’s staff for your collective efforts which contributed to sustainable growth especially given the exceptional circumstances we faced in 2020. You proved your ability to work and achieve success under all circumstances and challenges. I wish you continued success in 2021.
Our Future Aspirations
Competitive pressures represent a daily challenge for QNB ALAHLI. However, the efficiency of our strategy, our ability to adapt to market challenges, the awareness we showed during the pandemic, and our commitment to providing the best services and solutions for customers has allowed us to seize opportunities that arise from the challenges. This is in addition to enhancing our wide range of services and products.
We will continue to implement all precautionary measures to protect our employees and customers from the risks of COVID-19, while providing the best innovative digital banking services and products in line with the needs and requirements of our customers. Seeking to fulfil QNB group vision to be one of the leading banks in the Middle East, Africa, and South and East Asia by the end of 2021, and a global bank by 2030.
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